Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cardiovasc Res. 2003 May 1;58(2):478-86.

Endothelial progenitor cell culture and differentiation in vitro: a methodological comparison using human umbilical cord blood.

Author information

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine II (Cardiology), Ulm University Medical Centre, Robert-Koch-Str. 8, D-89081, Ulm, Germany.



Endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) can contribute to vascular repair and targeted tumour therapy. Little is known about generating EPC from human umbilical cord blood. We therefore compared methods for purification of EPC from human umbilical cord blood.


Mononuclear cells were isolated from human umbilical cord blood by density gradient centrifugation and used either unselected or after CD34 preselection. Unselected mononuclear cells were cultured for 9 days. Culture-dish-adherent (CDAC) and non-adherent (CDNAC) CD34+ cells were cultured separately for 4 weeks. Surface markers were assessed by immunofluorescence staining and FACS analysis.


In unselected mononuclear cells, VEGF-R2 and VE-cadherin expression increased up to day 6. They stained positive with UEA-1 and took up acetylated LDL. Expression of CD45 and CD14 decreased over time, but remained strong. CD133 and CD34 were not expressed. CD34+-CDNAC acquired an endothelial phenotype over time with an increase of VEGFR-2 and von Willebrand factor (vWF). CD45 and CD14 decreased, while CD34 and the progenitor-cell marker CD133 remained strongly expressed. CD34(+)-CDAC showed a strong increase in VEGFR-2, CD133, CD34 and vWF, while CD14 decreased, and CD45 did not change.


Putative EPC can be obtained from human umbilical cord blood. When selected for CD34, cells can be differentiated in culture to express markers of mature endothelial cells, while keeping progenitor markers. In contrast, short-term culture of unselected mononuclear cells leads to an endothelioid-monocytoid phenotype devoid of progenitor markers. Thus, the outgrowth from CD34-selected cells appears to be superior to short-term culture of unselected mononuclear cells with regard to endothelial cell-lineage specific differentiation of cells with a progenitor marker profile.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk